Wayne Cameron is just a 'Dancin' Fool' in Incline Star Follies

20 Mar 2009 - 5:45am
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, by Jean Eick
Incline Star Follies veteran Wayne Cameron takes a break between numbers during rehearsal March 6 at Incline Elementary School.
Incline Star Follies veteran Wayne Cameron takes a break between numbers during rehearsal March 6 at Incline Elementary School.
Bonanza Photo - Jen Schmidt

Wayne Cameron has a twinkle in his eye that lets you know immediately he enjoys having a good time. As a native Nevadan, Cameron grew up in a small town and appreciates the small town feel of Incline Village. He is the sales manager for Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking and has been with Wells Fargo in Incline Village now for 10 years.

“I grew up in a really small town so I love the small town, he said.

Cameron did not star in any theater productions while growing up or even during college at the University of Nevada, Reno. However, he is in his ninth year as a member of the cast for the Incline Star Follies.

His long history with this annual and popular fundraiser actually started when the organizer of the event, Debbe Deverill asked Cameron to participate in the show. However he decided not participate that first year.

“I had heard about the old follies, where they actually sang the songs,” Cameron said. “Debbe made me promise that I would be in it the next year.”

Cameron kept that promise and has not only become a regular member of the yearly cast but served on the board of the Incline Star Follies since that time as well.

He was nervous the first year and worried about having to dance. That fear did not last long.

“The moves were simple. One of the best times ever,” he said.

During the nine years Cameron has been part of the cast the follies have experienced many changes and performed on several stages. His first year was at Incline High School while another year found the production performed at the old elementary school. Cameron said that it was very difficult performing at the elementary school because the audience was all at the same level. Since the production has been at the Cal Neva it has been much easier for the cast and according to Cameron makes it feel more like a show.

“I have always gotten really good numbers and have had a lead every year,” he said.

Some of the songs though have been recycled through the years and provided Cameron an opportunity to do a couple of the songs a second time.

“One my favorites we happen to be doing again this year, ‘Dancin Fool,’” Cameron said.

This song was one that was originally performed when the show was at the elementary school so should be fun to do this year at the Cal Neva.

As the years have gone by, they have included many funny experiences for the members of the cast including an injury for Cameron during a performance.

“The year I did “Mr. Mom,” I had lots of kids running around me and during the first show of the last night I slipped, fell back and chipped a bone in my elbow,” he said.

But the show continued on and Cameron did the second show that night as well. He explained that if anything unusual was going to happen it usually did during the last show.

“George LeBard told me that he knew I was hurt, but many thought it was just part of the show,” Cameron said.

One of the long traditions of the Incline Star Follies has been for men in the cast to dress up as ladies for a number. Cameron did this one year along with Dr. Vincent D’Ascoli.

“We came out with bananas stuffed in our dresses and threw the bananas into the audience,” he said. “Vinny is just hilarious.”

It is when Cameron speaks about this number or some of the other funny things that have happened that you can see that sparkle and realize that he really enjoys every minute of participating in the Incline Star Follies.

“Bruce Solie always gets the short jokes and it is so much fun to see Jonathan Smith as a different person,” Cameron said. “On stage most personalities magnify.”

During the many practices and sometimes even between numbers off stage the cast spends a lot of time talking and joking around.

“People don’t see a lot of each other outside the show. Friendships grow and you build amazing relationships with the other members of the cast,” he said. “Sometimes you are on stage with the kids of people you know.”

But according to Cameron it is the people behind the scenes that really make the show.

“It’s people like Kathie Goldberg that make the show,” he said. “Words can’t describe the work she does. I adore Kathie.”

The most amazing fact though is that Cameron does not live in Incline and does not have any family members in the school system. Still he puts in the hours and hours required to learn the songs and dances year after year.

“I love this community, it is the best community ever,” Cameron said. “I love doing something to help the schools in the community.”

Cameron admitted that this year his dance number is much harder and has required more time for him to learn. He will be in four numbers for the 2009 Incline Star Follies, two all cast numbers including “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “That’s Entertainment.” And will be the lead in “Press Conference Rag,” and “Dancin’ Fool.” His favorite number though is the last number of the show.

“I love when we get into the number “God Bless the USA,” he said.” I love it when the

audience gets into it.”

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